Now that Subaru has officially announced that their rear wheel drive concept (codenamed FT-86 by Toyota) is coming to fruition and will be released in Spring 2012, reports are claiming that they’re now turning their engineering pens to a more familiar model: the Impreza WRX. And they’re starting its transformation by losing the “Impreza” name.
It might not sound surprising to some, but the Impreza WRX’s legacy as a supercar-fighter based on a humble economy-car platform looks like it may be drawing to a close in favor of a more aggressive approach. Sources at Subaru tell Motor Trend that by dropping the Impreza name and transitioning the development away from the humble Impreza, the WRX is free to pursue even loftier goals. Whether or not the WRX name will continue has yet to be decided, too.
Motor Trend reports that the WRX will start by taking its underpinnings from the Impreza and shortening the wheelbase in hopes of making turn-in sharper. It’ll then lose the Impreza’s engine: while it currently has a 2.5 liter boxer four-cylinder, the Impreza will soon receive a much more efficient 2.0 liter boxer four. The WRX, however, should receive a turbocharged 1.6 liter boxer four, which could eventually receive a twincharger setup. Power for the new engine is expected to reach 270 hp in turbocharged guise, which could receive a bump to beyond 300 hp for the STI model.
With a new engine and a new lease on life, expect the WRX to go places: Gymkhana, the World Touring Car Championship, or most notably, a rumored return to the World Rally Championship. If comments from Subaru president Ikuo Mori to Subaru shareholders are any indication, expect the hopped-up WRX to surface some time in 2014.
Source: Motor Trend